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Data Integration and BIM in facilities management

Insight from Service Works’ FM Software Survey 2018 has revealed that FM professionals are being smarter with their use of technology. 72% of respondents using FM software are now integrating it with at least one other system in order to improve data accuracy and streamline services.

Data management has become a top priority in FM. Last week’s blog found that 77% of respondents are now either using an FM system from a key industry provider or software developed in house, and report generation was voted as the most important functionality. It is this data that provides the foundation of all decisions made; from scheduling PPMs to pricing jobs. In the current cost-driven environment , where value is scrutinised and each penny counts, anywhere an inefficient process can be restructured can make a difference.

Creating managed autonomy

30% more respondents than in our 2016 survey are now integrating their FM software with other software programs including building management systems (37%), finance / procurement (24%), health and safety (24%) or space management / CAD (15%). Integration allows the systems to communicate with each other and securely share data, promoting accuracy because information only needs to be keyed in once. This data sharing reduces work for the FM team as the system gains a degree of autonomy – for example, when the BMS identifies a fault, it is reported directly to the FM software and raised as a job automatically. It is then allocated a priority and dispatched to an operative who has the required skills, works in the vicinity and has availability in their schedule.

Furthermore, while 41% of respondents reported an increased budget compared to 2017, of this figure only 23% were operating in the public sector. Those looking to make larger purchases, especially in the NHS for example, need to justify their requirement with a business case, soundly upheld with relevant, accurate data which can be taken from an FM system.

BIM for increased first-time fixes

Despite this strategic shift towards data management, the survey has found just a 1% increase in building information modelling (BIM) usage since 2016, despite the well-publicised benefits.

The data held in BIM includes schedules and blueprints as well as asset information such as cost, location, service life, carbon impact, maintenance, spares, reordering, substitution, serial numbers, warranty details and more, all of which is available immediately on screen.

It can be received, stored, combined with other data and analysed seamlessly, providing more reliable information to report to the board and for FM team operations. For example, if a fault is reported for a lamp, the engineer can see immediately if there is an access issue, check the type of lamp and the connections, thereby increasing efficiency and first-time fix rates.

Laser-fast BIM models

This low increase in BIM integration may be in part due to the lack of handover from construction teams on new buildings, but 3D BIM models can be created by scanning existing buildings with lasers. This process has been completed on many high profile buildings already such as Sydney

Opera House and Durham Cathedral, and is also now available through Service Works Global – please contact us for more information.

BIM allows FMs to make informed decisions through the whole life cycle of the facility around areas such as space use, floor planning, equipment and asset maintenance, energy consumption, and cost efficiencies.

Tried and tested

Of those looking to leave their FM software provider, one quarter stated it was because of a lack of integration with other applications. While some of the more advanced technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence are still something for the future, for many (as will be explored in the full survey report) integrated and automated service are a key priority for now and are proven to save the industry time and money.

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FM Software Survey Results - BIM and Integration